USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78

Magnetic Catapult Test With Dead Load


Published on Jun 17, 2015   NEWPORT News, Va.

During the first two weeks of June, 2015 the Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) conducted the first-ever, shipboard, full-speed catapult shots using the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) aboard the aircraft carrier.  U.S. Navy Sailors, civilian employees and contractors observed.

The 'dead loads' were wheeled steel vessels up to 80,000 pounds that simulate the weight of an aircraft – to verify that the catapult and each of its components are working properly.

EMALS will replace steam catapults on the Ford-class carriers. It is more maintainable, reliable and efficient than the steam system, generates more launch energy and puts less stress on the aircraft by creating a smoother, more linear acceleration, according to the Navy statement. The first test shots in May were called “no-loads,” as nothing was attached to the launching shuttle. The test was meant to demonstrate the integration of the catapult system.

For more background information, visit our Magnetic Catapult page

Ford is 90-percent complete and is expected to be commissioned in March 2016.

Deadload test


I wonder how much that steel sled cost?    They probably should have hooked a line to it to fish it back out.  Notice in the video how some of the shots bounced across the water and how far out the sled is thrown.


3 minute video


Visit our related pages for

Cat Shots


Magnetic Rail Gun